President Joe Biden did not deny that the U.S. may have given a list of American citizens in Afghanistan to the Taliban during his press conference Thursday evening.
Politico reported earlier Thursday that U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens and Afghans with visas to evacuate to America in hopes that it would speed up the ongoing airlift in Kabul. Some defense officials were reportedly shocked by the move, accusing their colleagues of “putting all those Afghans on a kill list.”
Biden was asked about the veracity of the report during his press conference: “There are reports that U.S. Officials provided the Taliban with names of Americans and Afghan officials to evacuate. Were you aware of that? Did that happen,” asked RealClearPolitics’ Philip Wegmann. (RELATED: ISIS Officially Takes Credit For Kabul Airport Attack)
I asked President Biden about the @Politico scoop that US officials provided a list of Americans and Afghans to the Taliban for evacuation. He told me a list could exist but he doesn’t know.
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) August 26, 2021
“There are certain circumstances, where we’ve gotten information, and quite frankly sometimes from some of you, saying you know of such and such a group of people are trying to get out, on a bus, moving from other people, and this is their location,” Biden said. “And there have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said, for example, ‘This bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through.'”
“So yes, there have been occasions like that,” Biden continued. “To the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred they’ve been let through. But I can’t tell you with any certitude that there’s actually been a list of names. There may have been, but I know of no circumstance. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist … it could very well have happened.” (RELATED: ‘We Will Hunt You Down’: Biden Vows Revenge For Deadly Terror Attack In Kabul)
There have been widespread reports of Taliban fighters harassing and attacking both Americans and Afghans with visas trying to reach the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where a deadly terror attack was carried out by ISIS Thursday. At his press conference, Biden held to his commitment to withdraw all American troops by Aug. 31, regardless of whether all Americans are evacuated by then.